Lifelike childbirth simulator helps prepare doctors for emergencies
Published Saturday, May 31, 2014 10:05PM EDT
A robotic mannequin that simulates childbirth could help doctors save a woman’s life in an emergency situation, says the Canadian company that developed the lifelike teaching tool.
Created by Montreal’s CAE Healthcare, the Fidelis Maternal Fetal Simulator is a human-like robot that can simulate the various stages of childbirth, as well as the dangerous medical complications that sometimes come along with delivery.
The mannequin exhibits the vital signs of a living person – including breathing, blinking and bleeding -- and can mimic complications like a breeched birth or post-partum hemorrhaging.
“During labour they can feel the contractions, so they can actually feel the abdomen prepare itself,” says CAE product manager Pamela Azevedo. “They can talk with her, they can look at her pupils to see if they dilate.”
The company says they are distributing the simulator to schools and hospital worldwide to help students and physicians tackle real-life birth emergencies in a risk-free environment.
The simulator, which costs between $70,000 and $85,000, could help doctors save women’s lives, according to CAE Healthcare President Robert Amyot.
“We estimate 140,000 women die of bleeding related to delivery,” he says. “We think that 75 per cent of these events, these deaths, could be preventable.”
Serious birthing complications are uncommon, which means doctors don’t get a lot of practice responding to them.
“During a delivery, it's rare something goes wrong,” he says. “But when it goes wrong, it can be a catastrophe.”
Obstetrician Marie-Danielle Dionne, who has worked with the robot, says the simulation is realistic.
“It's going to change our way to learn and to be prepared in all situations,” she says.
With a report by CTV News’ Vanessa Lee